First World Problems - LN Adjustable Mouth Block Plane or Rabbeting Plane?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by gtbuzz posted 05-23-2014 09:33 PM 1349 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2465 days

05-23-2014 09:33 PM

Apparently I was a good boy recently as I got the LN 60 1/2 Low Angle block plane from my GF for my birthday. It’s a pretty awesome gift no doubt and I’ve been looking at one for a little while. My dillemma (if you can call it one) is this – I had actually had my eyes on the rabbeting block plane.

The advantage I like with the rabbeting block plane is the ability to not have to dial in my dado stack exactly for a mortise. Just get it close enough and plane away the excess on the cheeks for a nice fit. I generally don’t do a bunch, so avoiding scrap is generally more beneficial to me than time.

Question is – do I trade it for the rabbeting plane? I’ve already been down the road of not discouraging woodworking gifts and she knows that I’m very picky (and still loves to try for some unknown reason), so that’s not an issue here. I’m also not against the idea of just buying the rabbeting plane to suppliment this as well, but my worry is that one or the other will just sit around never being used if I have both. If I get the rabbeting plane and find that it does everything the regular block does and never touch this one, I’d rather put my resources elsewhere.

Will I miss the adjustable mouth if I go to the rabbeting plane? Are there other things I should be aware of? FWIW, this is my first real hand tool. The rest of my shop is all power tools.

7 replies so far

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1959 days

#1 posted 05-23-2014 09:50 PM

First world problems… hehe “This beer is so hot!!! It’s only like 45 degrees!!! How the hell do you expect me to drink it when it isn’t as cold as the Rockies??”

Ok on to your question: I have the adjustable mouth and I really like it. The adj mouth feature is great and I use it often. I must admit that there have been plenty of times when I was trimming tenon cheeks and I wished I had the rabbeting plane. I think when you really break it down, the rabbeting plane excels at just that…rabbeting. The adjustable mouth plane is more of a finessing and smoothing tool. They can each sort of be used for the other purpose, but they don’t really excel at tasks they aren’t built for. So, I suppose the real question is what are you going to use it for? Trimming tenon cheeks? Smoothing difficult areas? Flushing out dowels or pegs?

I don’t have the rabbeting plane and have never used it, so take my advice with a grain of salt. That has just been my thought process when I have considered that same question.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View DocBailey's profile


584 posts in 2384 days

#2 posted 05-23-2014 10:17 PM

I’m not a fan of multiple block planes—but I see the Stanley LAAM as a “must have.”
You can do 90% of the cheek fitting with that plane; that last bit closest the shoulder is a job for a shoulder plane—which has other uses.

I personally know at least 3 guys that bought the LN rabbeting block and all would tell you that they hardly ever use them.

THE BEST advice I can give you is slow down—there is a natural tendency to try and acquire everything once you’ve discovered hand tools—but you are better off buying what you need as projects dictate. The money goes a lot farther that way.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1798 posts in 1918 days

#3 posted 05-23-2014 11:26 PM

I got the rabbeting block plane and it is pure awesome. But I didn’t have a low angle block and at the time I didn’t want to buy that AND a shoulder plane, although a shoulder plane might come in handy down the road. If I had your low angle block I wouldn’t have gotten the rabbeting block. I’ve also got a 9 1/2 with an adjustable mouth so that helps my mouth problem.

DocBailey is correct – buy what you need.

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

18754 posts in 2591 days

#4 posted 05-24-2014 12:29 AM

my opinion would be a low angle adjustable mouth plane is a must have for anybody working wood. I’ve got the rabbiting block planes and love then, but wouldn’t even think about getting rid of the block.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2465 days

#5 posted 05-24-2014 04:07 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I have a list of planes that I plan on acquiring over time as the needs present themselves. One of those is a shoulder plane. If I got a shoulder plane, would that allow me to trim up the parts of the tenon cheeks I can’t reach with the standard block plane?

View theoldfart's profile


9740 posts in 2475 days

#6 posted 05-24-2014 04:18 PM

Yes, I use a medium shoulder plane to finish the shoulders. If I had to do it over again I would get a large, tried to save some money with the medium.!

You’ve gotten some sound and seasoned advice from the folks above.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View JADobson's profile


1063 posts in 2135 days

#7 posted 05-24-2014 07:53 PM

I use an adjustable mouth block plane to size my tenons and then just run a very sharp chisel over the cheek where the plane couldn’t reach. That has worked well for me. However, I’ve made a grand total of 24 mortise and tenon joints in my short woodworking career.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics